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No free lunch

A scientist pursuing research— with disinterested curiosity, Poets distancing themselves— from personal emotions, from ‘personality’ (in Eliot’s idiolect), A sportsperson focusing on the event— not obsessed with results, demonstrating sporting spirit, Anyone doing their karma— regardless of results, as characterized in Indian scriptures, notably the Gita— All these are instances of detachment— Of varying degrees And of course in various domains. Thus, they all fit into a paradigm. The old order changeth, yielding place to new! There was a paradigm shift in the globe— A mutation. Detachment suddenly changed To (greedy) Attachment—to profit. And the Rat Race started. It originated in Keiser’s pre-War Germany. Chemical industry sponsored Academic programmes. Welcome! But chemical weapons were piling up. Oh, what a pity! And war seemed to be the only solution— To dispose of the weapons. Dreadful! No free lunch! A weak Kaiser yielded. Germany plunged into war— A development not dissimilar To the piling up of warheads in the US, Leading to the Gulf War. Germany lost. Kaiser abdicated and fled. Now, a broken Germany Had to launch another war, To salvage its economy— With far more disastrous consequences this time. The Fatherland broke down. Führer killed himself. Germany was broken in two. But the new paradigm continued to work— Spread globally. The world came to be governed By corporate concerns, T&C. No free lunch! The rat race continued And still continues, At breakneck speed, Between the two Geopolitical Blocs, Between members of the same Bloc! What about ideology, then? No problem. No free lunch! The paradigm shift means Commodification, Cutthroat competition, Aggressive marketing, Subliminal appeal, Throwaway mode, Exploitation of labour. What about ideology, then? No problem. No free lunch! Benjamin Bloom came. Outcome-Based Education Displaced Liberal education Academies gave up Engineering, Offered Technology. Research was all geared to A noble, commercial purpose. The world became a Workers’ Paradise, (in Tagore’s idiom). Exploitation of labour? Will go on. No free lunch! Fundamental Research? Who cares? But what about values? ‘Politically correct’ language, please. No free lunch! Writers? Of late busy with contests—of course. And write only for prize money! The muses or Sarasvati? No superstitions, please. No free lunch! Sportspersons? All on the market, Waiting to be bought off Or already auctioned. Can’t help it. Sponsor-pressure. No free lunch! And sporting spirit? What do you mean? Current English, please! No free lunch! And what about detachment? Why, are you a Buddha? A Charlie Chaplin? A Tithonus? A Rip Van Winkle or an ET? Google Postmodernism and Kali Yuga And find out. Read rags and update. Or you’ll be detached. No free lunch! Om, shantih, shantih, shantih!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017




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Date: 8/26/2017 11:46:00 AM
Very enlightening views, Ram. Powerfully expressed prose. Although, we share not the same religion, I admire and respect your intellectual honesty and bravery. I am blessed to have read your words of wisdom this day. Adding your name to my Fave Poets list is an honor. Keep the love and knowledge flowing, my friend. Love and more love to you and yours.
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Ram R. V.
Date: 8/26/2017 6:25:00 PM
Thank you, Freddie, for your glowing compliments. I am pleased to note that I am one of your Fave poets. I hope to live up to your expectations. Regards, Ram
Date: 8/7/2017 5:33:00 AM
Politically this world is very much in crisis. You explained this very well. I totally agree too. Enjoyed the read! :)
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Ram R. V.
Date: 8/7/2017 5:41:00 AM
Thank you, Julie, for your (as usual) prompt and perceptive comment. I am glad that you agree, too. By your prompt responses you've indeed conditioned me to eagerly look for your comments immediately as I post a poem. How nice of you, oh, unforgettable Julie! Regards, Ram
R. V. Avatar
Ram R. V.
Date: 8/7/2017 5:41:00 AM
Thank you, Julie, for your (as usual) prompt and perceptive comment. I am glad that you agree, too. By your prompt responses you've indeed conditioned me to eagerly look for your comments immediately as I post a poem. How nice of you, oh, unforgettable Julie! Regards, Ram